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· I've got to get in shape.
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So, I'm out riding today, doing my usual midweek loop. As I approach a red light, a man in the passenger seat of an old Ford pickup rolls down his window and asks me, "Do you mind if I drive down your shiny new bike path while you ride on the road?" I reply that if thats what he wants to do, then whatever.

Mistake #1: I take the opportunity to educate this poor ignorant passenger. I inform him that in Maryland (I live in the suburbs between DC and Baltimore), the law states that bikes are the same as motor vehicles. He replies that my bike couldn't be worth as much as a car, he's paid more taxes, etc. Again, I reply with a non-threatening whatever.

Mistake #2: This almost killed me, so pay careful attention here. I noticed his huge gallon sized refillable Big Gulp cup (?) in his lap. By this point, I noticed that he was slightly irrational, and that maybe he had been drinking. I then said, "Have another drink."

Ooops. This guy just erupted. He got out of his truck and started approaching me, cursing at me and threatening me. I took the braver approach; that is, I backed away saying that I didn't want any trouble and that I was sorry for saying that. Fortunately, the light had turned green, so other cars waiting at the light were blowing their horns at him. He yelled "F**k you" at the cars behind us, got back in his truck, and left.

One of my best friends who is a police officer, always told me to be outrageously courteous while riding, because you never know who you might set off. And if you find yourself in a situation that requires legal intervention, you can state truthfully that you never were disrespectful towards the other party.

Be careful out there, it's a dangerous world.
 

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I know what you mean. I was out the other evening in a neighborhood and a car took a left turn to wide because they were driving to fast and took my lane and nearly hit me. They yelled at me as they went by. I was telling my wife and kids about it and they wanted to know if I yelled back. I explained to them that the last thing I want is for them to come back and start harassing me. I don't have the safety of a car.
 

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foggypeake said:
So, I'm out riding today, doing my usual midweek loop. As I approach a red light, a man in the passenger seat of an old Ford pickup rolls down his window and asks me, "Do you mind if I drive down your shiny new bike path while you ride on the road?" I reply that if thats what he wants to do, then whatever.

Mistake #1: I take the opportunity to educate this poor ignorant passenger. I inform him that in Maryland (I live in the suburbs between DC and Baltimore), the law states that bikes are the same as motor vehicles. He replies that my bike couldn't be worth as much as a car, he's paid more taxes, etc. Again, I reply with a non-threatening whatever.

Mistake #2: This almost killed me, so pay careful attention here. I noticed his huge gallon sized refillable Big Gulp cup (?) in his lap. By this point, I noticed that he was slightly irrational, and that maybe he had been drinking. I then said, "Have another drink."

Ooops. This guy just erupted. He got out of his truck and started approaching me, cursing at me and threatening me. I took the braver approach; that is, I backed away saying that I didn't want any trouble and that I was sorry for saying that. Fortunately, the light had turned green, so other cars waiting at the light were blowing their horns at him. He yelled "F**k you" at the cars behind us, got back in his truck, and left.

One of my best friends who is a police officer, always told me to be outrageously courteous while riding, because you never know who you might set off. And if you find yourself in a situation that requires legal intervention, you can state truthfully that you never were disrespectful towards the other party.

Be careful out there, it's a dangerous world.
"Shiny bike path?" Was it some deranged Peruvian Maoist?

I suspect that with a guy like this, you were a target the minute he made eye contact with you. Nothing you say will satisfy him, including saying nothing. I would have rolled back a few cars and made a u-turn if necessary.
 

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One of my best friends who is a police officer, always told me to be outrageously courteous while riding, because you never know who you might set off. And if you find yourself in a situation that requires legal intervention, you can state truthfully that you never were disrespectful towards the other party.
I agree with the general principle of being overly courteous in order to avoid or limit the damage from flare-ups. However, I am not sure why it is relevant for legal purposes whether you were disrespectful. Will the police really look the other way if some guy runs me off the road just because I lost my temper and used a few choice words? Looking at this the other way, I would expect some serious police trouble if a driver yelled insults at me and my ancestry and I responded by yanking him out of the car and going to town. I have always thought that the person who escalates a dispute to physical violence gets nailed, but maybe I don't have enough experience with the police to know what gets them going or how they make on-the-spot decisions about arrests and such.
 

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I agree about it being a dangerous world. I have shut up in recent years, especially after an incident in the Wheaton, IL area four or five years ago. I was doing some extra miles before the Spokes bicycle shop Tuesday night ride. I had the right away, and a car starts to pull out in front of me. I would have hit him had I not yelled and if would have had his window closed. When he finally passes me, I yell you need to watch out for cyclist! He then slows down and ask me what my problem is. I explained to him that he almost hit me because he wasn't paying attention, or that he didn't realize that I was riding as fast as I was. He tells me where to go! I ask what his problem is. This idiot in his mid seventies buick decorated with rust then proceeds to tell me that I must be a miserable person and hate life because I took the time to make an issue out of this. I should have shut up, because here I am riding alongside his car, and it never once crossed my mind that he could run me off the road. I had a case of cyling narcissism. When he started calling me names, I made the idiot move of spitting in his car and letting him pass. He pulled up to the next stop sign, got out of his car, and started yelling hit me, throw a punch! I of course didn't. I told him the only thing I was going to do is call the police, which one of the homeowners did. He drove off, I got pulled over. Turned out that the cops brother was a triathlete who was hit by a car the week before, so he was very eager to find this guy. Don't know whatever came about it, but I have shut up after that situation.
 

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do they make bottle cage mount compatible holsters for a can of bear mace?
man that would have been some funny **** to see from the car behind him.

crazy man gets out of car. scrawny biker douces louse with mace. of course then you better stick arround and call the cops cause he is sure to run you down
 

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Mouthing off is one thing, but purposely antagonizing an "irrational" guy is about as stupid as it gets. Would you have done that in any other situation?

I'm no saint, but somehow I've mastered the art of ignoring people who say things to me when I'm riding. Just yesterday, some lady drove next to me and started yelling at me. I couldn't tell what she was saying, so I didn't look over or make any acknowledgement that I could hear her. It's automatic for me. Once I figured out she was asking me for directions, I helped her out.
 

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mohair_chair said:
Mouthing off is one thing, but purposely antagonizing an "irrational" guy is about as stupid as it gets. Would you have done that in any other situation?

I'm no saint, but somehow I've mastered the art of ignoring people who say things to me when I'm riding. Just yesterday, some lady drove next to me and started yelling at me. I couldn't tell what she was saying, so I didn't look over or make any acknowledgement that I could hear her. It's automatic for me. Once I figured out she was asking me for directions, I helped her out.
It seems these incidents run in cycles, at least for me they do. I will go a couple of months without even a look. Then without warning, four or five incidents in a week time. For me, the frustration was starting to build. I am older and wiser after that situation. It would never repeat itself. Why on earth that driver felt the need to stalk me is beyond me.

Anyone ever notice how cyclist go out of their ways to take the lesser traveled routes in many cases, and the motorist still get as angry for you being on the road.
 

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stanger things have happened

had a teammate that once raised his hand in a "what the hell was that" sort gesture toa van that buzzed him. The driver stopped got out chased my teammate and swung at him witha hand hatchet (hitting his bike luckly). The judge ruled that since my teammate had raised his hand he contributed to the escalation or some such crap and the driver got away with some anger management classes and nothing else - this is for assualt with a deadly weapon.



Henry V said:
I agree with the general principle of being overly courteous in order to avoid or limit the damage from flare-ups. However, I am not sure why it is relevant for legal purposes whether you were disrespectful. Will the police really look the other way if some guy runs me off the road just because I lost my temper and used a few choice words? Looking at this the other way, I would expect some serious police trouble if a driver yelled insults at me and my ancestry and I responded by yanking him out of the car and going to town. I have always thought that the person who escalates a dispute to physical violence gets nailed, but maybe I don't have enough experience with the police to know what gets them going or how they make on-the-spot decisions about arrests and such.
 

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Has anyone ever signed up for one of those license plate lookup services? There's a handful of web sites out there that do this for a fee of some $40/year and promise to return owner information. If they work, we should pool funds, get an account, an start posting the home address of angry motorists. It would, um, be good to know where these fools live, to as, um, avoid them...
 

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mohair_chair said:
... but somehow I've mastered the art of ignoring people who say things to me when I'm riding.
I'm trying to get there. I can ignore most of the honks and what not, but I did have one incident a couple months back. I was commuting to work, and a white cadillac passed me in my lane with only inches to spare. I would have let that go, but I heard her yell something that I believe could be literally translated as "a donkey with a sub-standard IQ". She then pulled in to the walmart parking lot less than a block down the road. My original plan was to politely ask her to be considerate and pass in her own lane... but that fell through when she immediately started yelling things that would most definitely get you sent to the principal's office. I kept my distance, but we both rather loudly voiced our opinions of each other's intelligence after she informed me in no uncertain terms that bikes should always ride against traffic and preferably on the sidewalk. Oh my. I decided there wasn't much I could do at that point, so I rode off.

Then at work, I got to thinking... who would be going to walmart at 7am and parking in the side lot? I didn't think retail paid enough to afford a cadillac. In any case, I printed off the Texas state code regarding bicycles, highlighted the relevant sections, and left a tad early to be back at walmart before a normal shift would be over. Sure enough, the car was still there, so I tucked a copy of the law under her windshield wiper.

I don't know if it did any good in the end. She probably didn't read it. But it made me feel better, it wasn't destructive, and maybe we both learned something. I like imagining her sharing the story with her friends, finishing up with "and he left THIS on my car!!", and her friends reading about how blatantly wrong she was.
 

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I've learned it's common cycling sense to keep my mouth shut, avoid and ignore all motorists' verbal contact.

It prevents me from premature death.

Not matter how big I am, how big my mouth is, or how big my dog is, their car is always bigger, brain always smaller, and irrational behavior more likely.
 

· Call me a Fred
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I, intellectually, know that It is not good to talk back to motorists, but. emotionally, I occasionally can't stop myself from yelling at someone who has come within inches of killing me because they were in a hurry.
 

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Northern California Cyclist Killed in Incident with Driver of Truck

I posted this info in another thread but here is an update.
_________________________________________________
From the Martinez Gazette, Thursday, June 15, 2006

By Ben Bush, Staff Reporter

DETAILS EMERGE IN ROAD RAGE DEATH


Kit Kohler, the brother of Thomas Cooney, the bicyclist who died following an apparent road rage incident on May 31, explained that Cooney likely died not from a physical fight with a driver but from an apparent collision when the driver got out of his car attempting to stop him. While biking down Alhambra Avenue, Cooney believed that a driver in a black pickup truck had cut him off. Kohler recalled the driver's version of events as told to him by the police. The driver claims that Cooney punched and then spit on him through the truck window while biking alongside the vehicle. The driver pulled over further up the road, got out of his vehicle and stood in the road gesturing for Cooney to stop. The two collided and Cooney flipped over, landing on his head and sustaining severe injuries. "The driver tried to stop Tom and Tom tried to get around him, and they collided," said Kohler.

Cooney was transported to John Muir Medical Center, where he died the following day. According to Kohler, the police confirmed that Cooney had been wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. "Apparently, the helmet split or broke," Kohler said, "he hit hard enough to do that."

According to Kohler, when police arrived on the scene, *Cooney lay in the far left lane on Alhambra Avenue at the junction with Berellessa, on the opposite side of the road from the bike lane. This as led to speculation that Cooney had veered away from the driver and that the driver had gone out of his way to chase Cooney across the street to block him.
 

· Frog Whisperer
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keeping my mouth shut is something I have never learned

A couple of years ago, I was riding along a ridge, minding my own business trying to stay as close to the edge as possible. I heard and saw a loud car coming up behind me. It looked as if he was heading directly towards me. I slid into the gravel and fortunately kept it upright. I blurted out something, not even sure what. I saw the driver and passenger look at each other, then pull over ahead...I was HOT...I jumped on the pedals and sprinted towards them as fast as I could!....They looked at each other again...and sped out of there spraying rubber and gravel...I think they thought I must be either crazy or armed to be chasing them down after they stopped!...well they got one right.....

When I was fresh out of college a similiar thing happened to me but on foot, I was walking my dog (120 pound male yeller lab...a real monster)...some drunken kids (looked like the football team came careening around a corner and almost nailed me....true to form I blurted something...The car pulled over and a guy who must have needed a shoehorn to get into the car squeezed out. To this day I refer to him as the capital V (due to the shape)....He was stumbling and looking for a fight...he asked you ok...I replied, yeah no thanks to your driving skills. he bristled and took a few steps towards me and all the sudden...EVERY hair on my dog was sticking straight out. The guy stopped in his tracks and said...ok....just checking...and wedged himself back into the car....the funniest part is that the whole thing was witnessed by a cop at the next corner who promptly pulled him over for DUI. The moral of the story is speak whatever way ya must and carry a big yellow dog!
 

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i'm also guilty of not knowing when to just shut up. last week i was riding on the white line between the regular lane and the righthand turn lane (the SAFE place to be if you're NOT TURNING!) and this old guy in a silver Benz honks at me several times. i was in absolutely no way impeding his forward progress, as the turn lane is very wide. well, i had just finished a great ride and i was in a good mood, so i felt like having a bit of fun with this jacka$$....

his window was down, so i rolled up alongside him and began lecturing him in my best schoolteacher voice. i said, "you know, sir, i've got just as much of a right to be here as you do." [he accelerates and refuses to look at me] "and, you know, i wasn't in your way at all." [he accelerates more, still refuses to look at me] "anyway, have a nice day!" [i waved in a friendly manner, he sped off looking frustrated, i grinned to myself.]

i hope i pissed him off. idiot.
 
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